Approaching Forgiveness

Posted on: May 24, 2020, by :

Today I wanted to talk with you a little bit about approaching forgiveness. Many as of us have been in situations where someone needed to apologize, perhaps both parties needed to, and sometimes the apologies went well and relationships were mended or maybe the apologies never came.

Accepting the Situation

One of the things that I’ve learned from dealing with difficult situations over the years, is that one of the first steps involved in approaching forgiveness involves acceptance of the situation. What this this means is that you accept the situation for what it is no matter how ugly or uncomfortable it makes you feel. Once you accept the situation for what it is, you can move on to releasing negative feelings that you have about the circumstances. Dealing with negative feelings is important as you begin to shift your thinking. When you shift your thinking, you can actually accept responsibility for any role that you may have had in the situation.

Acknowledging Your Motivation

As you approach forgiveness, it’s also important that you acknowledge your motivation for wanting to forgive. You may want to mend relationships before it’s too late to do so, and if this influences your decision-making you may put forth extra effort to repair relationships. Or if relationships have been severed to the point of little or no interaction, you may want to resume spending time with one another. Understanding your motivation will help you decide the extent to which you will go to repair the relationship.

Connecting with Others

One of the most difficult things that you might find when you approach forgiveness depending upon your situation, involves the actual thought of reaching out to the person or people involved, if it’s possible or warranted. It’s not always possible to have those difficult conversations in person or even on the phone or it may not even be warranted in your situation. You may just need to deal with the forgiveness internally and put the situation to rest.

Depending upon your circumstances, you may want to reach out and that may be very difficult. You may need to put some time into thinking about how you want to frame the conversation and then actually place the call or arrange the meeting.

One of the most important things that you can do is give yourself some leeway, difficult conversations are just that—they’re very difficult and often uncomfortable for both parties. Even though the conversation may be difficult, it could also be very rewarding because there may be healing that occurs.

Letting Go

Letting go can be pretty significant when it comes to forgiveness and healing. In my experience, if you forgive someone it doesn’t mean that you forget the circumstances surrounding the issue or how your attempt to resolve it went.

The process of forgiving can help you move forward with your life and place the issue or the circumstance in proper context. Then, when you bring the learning from the experience into your life later on you can use it to inform other situations. This is maturity, and it’s critically important to future experiences.

But that’s one of the most exciting parts—once you go through the process of accepting the situation, releasing the negative feelings, shifting your thinking, owning your role, and acknowledging your motivation. Then reaching out and having the conversation—if you go through all of this, then you are positioned to embrace a new normal.

Embracing a New Normal

I can tell you from experience, when you embrace a new normal, you are empowering yourself to move forward in exciting new ways. If you are in a situation and you’re contemplating forgiveness, I encourage you to consider if these steps might be appropriate for you. Then move forward and have the conversations you need to have and begin to heal so you can move on with your life.